Vice Chairman of the National Committee on APEC 2017 and Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Since Vietnam joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 1998, the forum has become an important force supporting the country’s economic reform and restructuring, growth model shift and global economic integration, including the entry to the World Trade Organisation.

The statement was made by Vice Chairman of the National Committee on APEC 2017 and Standing Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son during a recent interview with Vietnam News Agency ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting slated for November in the central city of Da Nang.

Son said Vietnam’s membership of APEC has contributed to the diversification and multilateralisation of international relations and the deepening of Vietnam’s bilateral ties, thus strengthening a peaceful and cooperative environment favourable for the country’s development. Among Vietnam’s 25 strategic and comprehensive partners, 13 are APEC members.

The admission has also helped strengthen internal power while boosting trade, investment and tourism with APEC partners. The bloc now accounts for 75 percent of trade, 78 percent of foreign direct investment and 79 percent of total tourist arrivals in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s involvement in dealing with APEC’s common concerns on economic growth and connectivity has improved its image as a country of innovation, dynamism and integration, empowering the country in the region and the world.

According to the Deputy FM, as host of the APEC Year 2017, one of Vietnam’s successes is to promote consensus among members on the theme and four priorities of APEC Year 2017 as well as upholding commitment to open trade and investment.

As the host country, Vietnam has pushed forward result-oriented collaboration among APEC members via building specific initiatives, focusing on fields that directly benefit the business community and the people, such as human resources development in the digital era, sustainable tourism, sustainable small- and medium-sized enterprises, urban and rural development, food security, start-up facilitation, and women in the economy.

Member economies also hailed Vietnam’s initiative to promote inclusive economic, financial and social development and preparations for building APEC’s future after 2020.

He added that Vietnam together with APEC economies has generated new momentum for regional growth and connectivity by helping micro and small enterprises tap opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution, training workers in new skills to seek jobs in a digital era, ensuring food security amid climate change, and assisting women and vulnerable groups in economic development.

Vietnam also contributed to updating the content of cooperation in a number of traditional fields this year in response to latest developments, which helps improve APEC’s adaptability in a changing world, according to Deputy Minister Son.

With 2017 said to be one of the most difficult years for multilateral cooperation mechanisms and APEC is no exception, Vietnam has been able to effectively use principles of consensus, voluntary, non-binding, and mutually-beneficial cooperation to maintain the trend of cooperation, connectivity, and reach consensus on partnerships in many sectors.

Activities hosted by Vietnam have made important contributions to raising APEC’s role and position in the evolving regional architecture, he said.-VNA